“The battle of shepherd’s bush” Olympic Games of 1908. A new short film by thebestof
2nd February 2011
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We’ve filmed Simon Rodway, brilliant local historian and expert blue badge guide in the first of a series of videos about our local history.

 The first of the films is about the 1908 Olympics and we are proudly playing it on our home page.  Coming soon to the same slot will be Simon’s film about Fulham Palace.  We’d really like your feedback on the films.  We’re doing them because part of our purpose (at least the way we see it) is to make living in Hammersmith and Fulham a bit more fulfilling and more fun.  Helping you find good reliable local services is part of that, telling the stories of the borough and bringing our history to life is another.  Let us know what you think, suggest new topics, join in and tell us your stories about the history of the area.

 If you don’t know about the most bitterly contested of the modern Olympiads then you might not know it happened right here in 1908.  The games that year should have been held in Rome but were moved at the last minute because of an eruption by Vesuvius. The White City Stadium - a giant of its day held 68,000 people and was put up at breakneck speed and cost the organizers £60,000. 

 At the heart of the rancor was a bitter battle between the US and the British team and organizers.  This was the Olympiad, where the Americans first refused to dip their flag to the head of state and where the British team not only won but also gained a greater haul of medals (56 golds) than at any games until Beijing.  Simon can tell you the rest of the story and does it so much better than I.

 Simon will be publishing a book in time for the third London Olympiad in 2012 which we will also be featuring on the site – he’s already getting some really positive feedback on You Tube for his (we would say this…) brilliant performance.  Thanks also to the hugely talented Ben Peers for shooting and editing the film and generally being a great person to work with.  Thanks also to the BBC and RedBee media for allowing us to film within the White City Village and a special thank you to the weather.  As you can probably tell, the films were shot on the same day and it was the 18th of December when London came to a halt.

About the Author

David W

Member since: 10th July 2012


I'm the owner of thebestof hammersmith and fulham so I get the chance to write about the borough and all the good things I find as I go around talking to businesses. Join in and tell people about...

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